Championing seasonal artichokes, Buchanans Cheesemonger in Connaught Village has shared a recipe for roasted baby artichokes with Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire rarebit and garlic breadcrumbs. While it’s fine to use any Lancashire cheese here, it’s worth making an effort to get hold of some Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire if possible, made by third-generation Lancashire-maker Graham Kirkham. Following the traditional two-day curd method of making Lancashire cheese, the results have a buttery, yoghurt-like flavour with gorgeous texture. The Kirkhams are also the last farmhouse producer of raw-milk Lancashire cheese.
In addition to championing Mrs Kirkham’s, Buchanans Cheesemonger trains and works with some of the most respected cheesemongers, cheese makers, affineurs, and artisans. The shop was established by Rhuaridh Buchanan, having trained as an affineur in the maturing rooms of world famous Paxton and Whitfield. Rhuaridh is particularly passionate about food service having spent almost 10 years in some of the country’s top restaurants, he is acutely aware of the needs of a busy kitchen and what it takes to deliver the perfect plate of cheese.
This roasted baby artichoke recipe is relatively simple to prepare at home, with the baby artichokes free from fluffy chokes, which need to be removed from larger artichokes. Simply roasted in the oven and served with garlic and parsley breadcrumbs, plus rarebit made with Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese.
For the artichokes
- 600 g baby artichokes
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lemon juice only
For the breadcrumbs
- 50 g breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon zest only
- 10 g parsley picked and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
For the rarebit
- 200 g Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire or other Lancashire cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 120 ml milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and put a baking sheet in.
- Prepare a bowl big enough to hold all the artichokes and add about 4 cups of water and the juice of a lemon. Zest the lemon first to use later in the breadcrumbs.
- Trim the baby artichokes: remove the first couple of layers of the outer leaves, trim the base and slice about a quarter off the top. There’s no fluffy choke to remove. Cut each artichoke in half lengthways and immediately submerge in the lemon water to stop them discolouring.
- Remove the artichokes from the water and pat them dry. Put them in a roasting dish with a generous glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes until softened and crisping at the edges.
- In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the lemon zest, olive oil, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread them out on the preheated baking sheet and return to the oven for about 10 minutes, mixing with a fork half way through. Keep an eye on them as they may start to burn.
- Put the cheese and flour in a saucepan on a medium heat and stir until the cheese is melted. Take off the heat and add the milk. Return the pan to the heat and beat with a whisk until smooth and the flour is cooked, this should just take a few minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add the mustard and the egg yolks. Keep stirring until smooth again. Leave to rest for a few minutes. The sauce should be very thick.
- Serve the artichokes on top of the rarebit and finish with the breadcrumbs, and enjoy!
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